Lady Bulldogs shock Lady Spikers
Mark Escarlote on Feb 10, 2016 07:43 PM
Myla Pablo dropped 16 points to power National University past De La Salle University in a rematch of last year's semifinals showdown.
They doubted themselves after a disappointing start in the 78th UAAP women's volleyball tournament.
But after taking down a powerhouse team -- the squad that eliminated them in Season 77 do-or-die stepladder semifinals -- the National University Lady Bulldogs are now ready to believe that they are contenders.
The Lady Bulldogs crawled out of a six-point deficit in the fourth set to hold off De La Salle University's attempt to force a decider as NU escaped with a 25-16, 26-24, 14-25, 25-23, win for its second straight win Wednesday at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
The troika of Myla Pablo, Jaja Santiago and Jorelle Singh powered the Lady Bulldogs to climb at second to third spot to tie their victim in the standings with 2-1 win-loss card.
Pablo pounded 15 kills - including the attack that pushed NU at match point - in her total of 16 points while Singh also registered 16 markers with 14 coming off spikes. The 6-foot-5 Santiago had 16 points for the Lady Bulldogs.
Roselyn Doria fired six points, two from service aces including the clincher that sealed the one-hour, 53-minute duel.
"Malaking panalo 'yan (laban) sa La Salle. Siyempre alam naman nating malakas 'yang La Salle, they can always recover. Pero 'yung makaisang laro kami sa kanila napakaganda. Hindi na lang namin pababayaan 'yan, ikaka-capitalize namin 'yan," said NU coach Roger Gorayeb, whose wards fell victim to league-leading and three-peat seeking Ateneo de Manila in straight sets last January 31. "Sabi ko nga sa kanila na hindi dalawang teams lang yan na naglalabanan (para sa title) sa UAAP, marami 'yan. Bigyan natin ng chance ang sarili natin."
"Huwag nyong i-deny ang sarili ninyo ng pagkakataon na pwede nating maipanalo," he added. "Nag-iba na sila kaysa dati e. 'Yung puso lang nila madaling masira pa. Hindi pa sila ganoon kakompiyansa pero kapag na-reach namin ang ganoong kompiyansa na gusto kong mangyari, magandang-maganda ito para sa amin."
The Lady Spikers threatened to force a fifth set when the Taft-based squad built a 20-14 lead.
Behind Pablo and Singh, the Lady Bulldogs erased their deficit to take a 23-22 lead. Pablo committed an error in the next play for the last deadlock of the match.
Pablo smacked an off the block kill before Doria finished off the DLSU with an ace that went off the hands of Cyd Demecillo -fielded for the first time by head coach Ramil de Jesus this season - and Ara Galang failed to recover.
Mary Joy Baron had 19 points, Mika Reyes finished with 12 while Galang, who faced the Lady Bulldogs for the first time since suffering a left knee injury in last year’s semis showdown, had 10 for the Lady Spikers.
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